Start Farming Blog
In 2014, a diverse group of young growers began collaborating with Penn State Extension on a project called Supporting Pennsylvania New Farmers in the Start-up, Re-strategizing, and Establishing Years. The project aims to increase the success of beginning farmers, specifically growers in year two to ten of establishing their businesses. A key component of the project is the “Models for the Future” on-farm demonstration plots.
Downy mildew has most recently been confirmed on cucumber in Michigan, Delaware and New Jersey in addition to the reports last week from Ohio and North Carolina.
The North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX) proudly presents the 2016 NAFEX Annual Meeting in Camp Swatara, Bethel, PA from Thursday, July 28th to Sunday, July 31st, 2016. The conference features tours, presentations, demonstrations of grafting and budding techniques, facilitated open space, discussion groups, cider and wine tasting, meals prepared with local, organic foods, and a Saturday evening banquet with a keynote presentation.
The Tree Fruit Pathology Lab at FREC is seeking fire blight samples again this season from around the state of Pennsylvania in commercial orchards and home landscapes for evaluation for antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria and other projects. If you have fire blight present in your orchard/yard, please contact Dr. Kari Peter for instructions for sampling.
Spotted wing drosophila has been found in very low numbers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, so it’s time to be watching for spotted wing drosophila presence in raspberries, blueberries, and other thin-skinned fruit. A few Pennsylvania growers reported finding larvae in late-season strawberries.
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
Penn State Extension has teamed up with beginning and establishing growers across the state to offer study circle discussion groups.
Bees and bee health are still making headlines, and sorely needed research results are finally starting to emerge. In early May, Horticultural Research Institute participated in a research symposium at Penn State University where early results from several research projects relevant to pollinator health were shared.
A new smartphone application, called MyIPM-NED, was developed to promote integrated disease management for apples, pears, cherries, and cranberries and is available for free for Android and iOS devices. These apps are also able to be used on tablets, as well.
Although we experienced several cool, cloudy weeks, those conditions didn’t deter the bacteria and fungi in the orchard. As the temperatures are warming up and the humidity rolling in, disease symptoms are becoming more apparent. Recommendations for several apple and stone fruit diseases folks need to be mindful of are discussed.
We’ve received a number of calls from growers who are concerned about various types of leaf distortion on their strawberry plants this year. Here is a review of some of the more common causes.
We had optimal conditions for apple scab infections this month and it’s time to start scouting the orchard for possible infection. Fire blight symptoms have been slow due to the chilly weather over the last several weeks; however, with the warm weather this week, fire blight may become more symptomatic. Be vigilant when scouting for fire blight and prune infections as soon as possible. In addition: newly planted blocks that may be blooming need protection to prevent blossom blight right now.
Portable equipment can help producers, including small-scale and local farmers, get products to market quickly.
The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) is a project of Hazardous Occupations Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA) for youth ages 14 and 15.
Silvopasture is an agroforestry practice which integrates rotationally grazed livestock with tree crops.
Born on a farm in upstate New York, Dr. Kristy Borrelli began her duties April 15, 2016 in the Department of Plant Science and was previously working in the Pacific Northwest as an Extension Specialist.
Renewed interest in food production has sparked lots of folks to consider farming as an occupation. However, production knowledge, business, and (particularly) financial hurdles sometimes prevent the dream from becoming reality.
According to the models, we have been in an apple scab infection period since April 27 and will continue to have favorable disease conditions through the weekend. This is an extremely important infection period since the scab spores are peaking. Be sure to get complete coverage of your trees and tank mix with a broad spectrum (EBDC or captan) for maximum protection of your trees.
After a dry April, rain has crept into the forecast making conditions ideal for apple scab, fire blight, and cherry leaf spot. Other diseases to keep an eye for management are powdery mildew and bacterial spot. For those who had their stone fruit crop frozen out in April, disease management is still needed. Disease infection periods are being posted for regions in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Strawberries are blooming, the rain is falling and it’s warming into the 60’s and 70’s—and as a plant pathologist, all I see is Botrytis spores dancing about the farm. We have already started to see Botrytis popping up on stem tissue and flower petals. Scouting for the pathogen in your fields will help inform you whether you need to spray.